Visiting the House of a Edo Feudal Lord in Kagoshima, Japan

Kagoshima was one of my absolute favorite stops on our Japanese cruise. We easily traveled through downtown to catch the city bus and rode it all the way to the famous Senganen Gardens, built by the wealthy Shimazu Clan, one of the most powerful feudal clans during the Edo Period.

Inside the gardens were perfectly manicured bonsai, rows of humongous chrysanthemums and the old home of the Shimazus (please take your shoes off!). The gardens were so vast, if you are interested in visiting, I would suggest getting there as soon as they open as even on a weekday, the gardens were quite busy, even Japanese tourists were excited to see this historical site.


Japanese Stationery Pack Unboxing かわいいね!! (Lucky New Year Box)

I’m a huge fan of Japanese stationary (and everything kawaii) and I received a ZENPOP subscription box for Christmas. I made a little unboxing video so you can discover this little crate of Japanese treats with me!

The December pack was filled with Lucky New Year items and it certainly did not disappoint!

Here’s a list of everything in the box:

  • Panda schedule stickers
  • Japanese food mini stickers
  • Wagashi note pad
  • Wagashi eraser
  • Lucky Cat mini pen charm
  • Mamimu memo pad
  • Cinnamoroll jewel pencil
  • Blooming Clover pencil sharpener
  • New Year of the pig postcards
  • Daruma brush pen
  • Wagashi stickers
  • Lucky Washi tape

My favorite part of the subscription box is the feeling of getting a beautiful boxed filled with surprises. Although I didn’t like my pencil sharpener, I loved everything else and I would definitely recommend trying out this subscription box.

Let me know if you like my unboxing video in the Youtube comments and I’ll do my best to try making new content like this!

Also, if you love Japanese surprises, check out the website at to get your own pack of lovely stuff! They also sell snack boxes, ramen boxes and makeup boxes. The best part is everything comes straight from Osaka, Japan. URGH I WANT THEM ALLLLL!!


Terrace House Part 5 Episode 33 & 34 Recap

What happened on Episode 33 and 34 of Terrace House Opening New Doors? Uh, a whole lot!

So we left off when Shunsuke arrived and Noah and Taka were home alone. He tells them he is there to kind of confirm his sexuality, because he isn’t sure if he is bisexual or not. He’s never told anyone close around him, so he’s hoping by being out in the open in the TH, living with both women and men, he’s going to discover himself. The guys take it really well, there was no awkward moment or any discussion about like the living situation or bathing situation.

Even when Seina finds out, she says ‘wow not only do you double the fun, you multiply it by 10!

Shunsuke takes a bath with Noah and when Noah got out of the bath, he patted Shunsuke on the head. Which he totally loved!! Shunsuke admits to Aya, he finds Noah attractive.

But too bad for him! Noah and Seina decide they are leaving TH together since they are an official couple. Originally, Seina came back on the show to find her last love, she found another young guy to be her boyfriend and this time, he’s rich! Noah came to TH to save money to become a pilot or something, I don’t really think he accomplished anything, but it doesn’t matter, he’s going to be known as Seina’s boyfriend now!

Taka and Seina do an adult only supper (because they are the only members that are over 22). He drops a freaking bomb that he is actually interested in a girl outside TH that he used to work with 3 years ago. WHAT! This is totally out of nowhere, and super weird now that he gave Aya body lotion and a you are beautiful towel and told her they’d go out on another date.

So when he comes back home, he asks to talk to Aya right away, which is so wrong because
1 – She is eating her ice cream and obviously this is a serious talk so she can’t finish it and it melts
2 – Now everyone knows that he was talking about Aya at his supper with Seina, so you can pretty much deduct that Seina is the one who ‘makes’ Taka break the news.

To make this conversation even worse, Taka ends it with like ‘I hope it goes well, I want to marry her, I picture my future with her. I’ll do my best. Ewww don’t tell her that. You don’t have to kick someone who’s already down! Poor Aya! All this time we thought Taka was shy or embarrassed by the attention Aya was giving him, but in reality, he liked someone else. I’m super sad for Aya.

Seina and Noah leave. Taka decides he will confess his love to this mystery girl and then leave TH the following day.

You want to hate Taka for leading Aya on, but when you see how different he is on his date with the girl he’s secretly in love with. He is completely different, he’s super talkative, romantic, like he’s another man. And the girl he’s in love with, is totally the opposite of Aya, in terms of looks and attitude. She looks like a reserved, demure type of person. Anyways, Taka asks her to be his girlfriend and she accepts. Finally, Taka is leaving!

Shunsuke looks for a part time job at a restaurant, but I guess he didn’t get it because we never see that place again.

It’s Taka’s last night and Aya shows she would’ve been an amazing girlfriend because she plans a surprise for Taka’s last supper. The doorbell rings and she answers it all excited and a male voice says Hi, I’m moving in. The door opens and it’s Shohei and THE best TH couple in the history of time: Shubasa!
Yea, that’s right, the most thoughtful girl who just got dumped by Taka, plans a heartwarming surprise for him like that. She is super classy.

And another reason I can’t hate Taka is that the morning before leaving, he freaking cut the grass on the TH property and did a huge cleaning of the bathroom and kitchen. Wow! Where the hell was Seina and Noah to do a little cleaning before they left? They should’ve sanitized the entire playroom before going.

One night the three leftover roommates, Aya, Shunsuke and Yui are watching the latest TH episode and it’s the one where Yui acts pretty harshly towards Mayu. After watching the commentary, she felt horrible and she admits she didn’t realize how bad it was. I guess a lot of people are saying horrible things about her on social media and it really affects her.   

3 new roommates are arriving next episode and they are all younger. So there is going to be an all new dynamic in the house!

That’s it for this week’s review! Check out my channel and subscribe to catch the next episode of Terrace House: Opening New Doors recaps!

Eating all of Kobe – Tasty street food in Arima Onsen and Kobe Chinatown

I love beef, I love steak, I ate it rare. I hope one day to live in Kobe, Japan and be able to eat all the beef, one day at a time. This is my retirement plan.

Our Celebrity Cruise ship stopped in Kobe and to my pleasant surprise, this beautiful town is much more than beef!
A total must visit: Arima Onsen. It is a hot spring town, it’s a bit touristic, but you will even see Japanese people come here to visit! Although I did not use an onsen, I did use a free foothbath with Arima’s ”golden water” and I could already feel invigorated after 15 minutes. There’s a lot of great tiny shops here and the town actually has maps displayed a few places so you do not get lost in the intertwining uphill roads.

There is also Kobe Chinatown, there is a lot of street food and very clean. I suggest that you be a little picky with your food choices here, a lot of restaurants have waitresses stand in front of their doors and try to wave you in. But if the restaurant or stand is empty, it might be a sign! I ate a few sub par things in Chinatown, but when I went to shops with a lineup, I was not disappointed!!

I really enjoyed the touristic areas of Kobe. Since we were there during the week, I never felt it was too crowded and I could easily stroll around at my leisure, which is the only way to travel and eat!

My personal motto: Enjoy eating everyday!

Terrace House: Opening New Doors Recap

The new season of Terrace House is coming out on Netflix tomorrow! And if you are like me or any decent human being, you probably marathon the heck out of TH every time Netflix releases them. So I decided to make a recap video of part 4 to remind you guys who kissed who (Seina and Noah), who rejected who (Noah and every other girl), and who is still single (I’m sorry to call you out, Yui).

I’m super excited for the next season and can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to TH’s first ever LGBT member. 

As you might have remembered the ending of part 3, Yui decides to confront Mayu on her bully-ish attitude. They finally address the awkward jealousy vibe, apologize and go out to eat together, doesn’t seem to be real.

One night, with Mayu in the room, Yui spontaneously gets excited and asks Taka to talk in the boys room, she confesses she is starting to like Noah. When she returns to the living room, she has huge smirk on her face and kind of throws it in Mayu’s face who has no idea what is going on. It was kind of off putting to see Yui act as if she was superior to Mayu.

Mayu forces Noah to finally pick a date for their hike, he’s trying to delay it but Mayu won’t let him get out of this one. Somehow Noah gets into a pickle and Yui wants to go hiking with him too, at the same waterfall!

For the first time in a long time, 6 roommates are together for supper. Taka is asking what everyone plans to do the next day. Noah replies nothing, he’s off. And Mayu gives him the death stare and corrects him, that they are going to their waterfall hike. Yui just stares at them.

The  awkwardness resumes.

In the morning, Mayu makes bento for her hike with Noah, asks Yui to taste her omelette, Yui doesn’t answer cause it’s that bad. On the hike, Mayu straight out asks Noah if he could ever see her as more than a friend, he turns her down with tact. I applaud this rejection. It was tastefully done. Unlike Mayu’s omelettes lul.

Later at home, all three girls are together and Mayu tells them she got rejected and she is leaving Terrace House, but not because of the rejection. When she first came to TH, she wasn’t over her ex, and didn’t know if she could ever fall in love again. And since she did, it was proof to her that she could move on. So she has that going for her I guess.

Mayu asks why she isn’t relationship material. Seina replies she’s too aggressive with men.

The morning Mayu is leaving, all the roommates are at the dining room table and someone asks if Yui wants to say any last words. And she’s like not really and they laugh at that and kind of poke fun at it and find it kind of rude. But why would she have any last words? Like go f yourself? She probably hated Mayu’s guts for like a solid 2 months. I wouldn’t have anything nice to say to her either.

A new girl named Aya comes in, and she has a super crush on Taka, which is perfect because he’s kind of overstayed his TH welcome and hasn’t done anything since he shaved his mustache.

The gang goes camping to celebrate golden week, and Shohei announces that he is ranked #7 on Spotify hot list and Seina is hugging him holding him and you think for a slight second it might be more than friendship cause everyone else is just giving high fives.

The group splits up into couples. Yui goes to do like a written trivia questionnaire with Noah because she is trying to decide if he is bf material. Aya pulls Taka aside to light fireworks. And Shohei and Seina are left behind at the campfire.

Shohei tries another pass at forced kissing Seina and she stops him again. But like she is sending so many mixed signals! He says she’s the best thing that ever happened to him (even though he just placed #7 on Spotify!!) and she says she’s so happy to hear that and is like on the verge of tears. So what’s wrong??? Do you like him or not!

Ok a freaking huge bomb gets dropped after the camping weekend. Noah tells Shohei in private that he doesn’t romantically like Yui and that he’s going to ask Seina out. WHAT where did this even come from. Has there even been a scene where Noah and Seina are together looking at each other and speaking?? And on the other hand, Shohei is preparing a romantic church date where he is going to formally ask Seina to be his girlfriend.

Taka and Aya go on a cute date, eat some really good gelato and Aya is totally into Taka and he seems to kind of be interested too, but he is not giving a flirty vibe at all. I feel like he’s a bit sceptical, maybe like TH producers purposely put a girl that is super into him to get him off the show haha

So Noah goes on <<his last date>> with Yui horseback riding. It’s kind of strange to see the contrast of how he turned down Mayu’s feelings vs how he’s going to turn down Yui. I can only imagine it’s because he kind of respects or at least likes her on a friendship level because he isn’t like flat down deny deny deflect her advances the way he did with Mayu. So I think it’s even harder on Yui to find out that he’s just not that into her.

Shohei gives Seina a little paper with an address on it and tells her to meet him there tomorrow.

So now that Yui got turned down, she is totally blowing the whistle on his bad behavior, like missing work to play basketball and reasking her to go out for meals with her, the day after he turned her down. We’re starting to see  a completely different side of Noah.

Seina arrives to the church, dressed completely in white, she opens the door and there’s Shohei in a suit with a huge bouquet of roses and he has a speech ready and he asks her to be his girlfriend…. And she totally turns him down!! This is 2 denies in a row. Come on, this is becoming super hard to watch.

Back at the home, Shohei tells the guys he got rejected and wishes Noah good luck. Seina tells the girls and Yui cries more than when she got rejected herself.

Shohei and Taka go out for drinks and talking about how they are going to be lifelong friends, and Shohei tells Taka that he is leaving TH because he accomplished everything he came to do and now it’s time for him to continue on his path. And like it’s a huge cryfest bromance. And I actually love this part of TH, how men aren’t scared to cry in front of the cameras and show that they are sensitive, they have feelings. And it’s like honestly refreshing to watch such genuine people.

Noah formally asks Seina out on a date date, she says yes

It’s Taka’s birthday and Aya gives him underwear as a gift and he loves it and it’s kinda quiet between them, they do a lot of small talk and you are like dying during this scene because you want Taka to make a big move! Just like when it was Shion’s birthday and Tsubasa gave him a personal gift. Like it led to big things. So I’m hoping the same will happen. But Taka seems kind of embarrassed / shy. But let’s do this! Let’s go!

During the party, Seina was clearly drunk because she just got louder and louder. The next day, detective Aya reveals that she saw Noah throwing up in the ward and then kissing Seina. She tells Yui that she doesn’t think that this is the first time they kissed and despite Seina saying ‘oh we’ve never talked before’ she suspects that they already kissed while camping, because they disappeared together during the night. Which happened before Noah when on the last date with Yui AND before Shohei did his big church thing. Hmmm suspicious

Noah takes a wrecked Seina to eat indian curry and drink wine, which doesn’t seem to be a good hangover meal… Seina herself pretends she doesn’t remember the kiss but she agrees to go out more with him. You have to question yourself, are they acting for the cameras and just trying to make themselves seem likeable after they both rejected people and secretly seeing each other this whole time?

Later that night, Noah tells Shohei one on one that he kissed Seina and is like laughing at the same time. Which is pretty inappropriate because hello, Shohei just got his heart broken last week. And Noah is here laughing in front of him, telling him he’s going to do his best to pursue Seina. Noah just came off as a huge immature butthole and Shohei calls him out on it. And Noah is like oh yea if I were in your shoes, I would feel bad. Then don’t freaking gloat in front of him! What a jerk!

Anyway, the court is in session when the honorable judge Yui sits down to put Seina on trial to question her on what really went down the night of the vomit kiss. Seina seems kind of like trying to stick to her story and not really giving any details, so I think it’s a totally act. Seina and Noah are totally entitled to be together and what not, but the way they did it in hiding and then pretend not to remember the next day, give me a break. Yui ends the night by saying it’s totally fine with her because Seina was kind of using the ‘i don’t want to hurt Yui’s feelings by talking to Noah’ excuse to explain why she’s been so secretive. And Yui was like I’ll be cheering you on (which I believe is genuine) but Seina in the whole scene, just looked like an actress playing her role..

The next day, Shohei prepares a backyard convert for the roomates, and Shohei’s band Three1989 perform their new song which he just finished writting. Everyone is in tears listening to this song Rambling Rose, which I think is about Seina / TH. And at the end, he announces it’s his last day at TH. This guy is such a stand up guy, he doesn’t do anything small. Like with the church proposal and now this, like I think Shohei just became more awesome during his time at TH. Bravo to him.

Taka and Aya are going on a skateboarding date and FINALLY, Taka does something that shows his interest in her: he gives her a gift and it was body lotion and a fluffy towel that had embroidery on it saying ‘you are beautiful’. Finalllyyyy!!! Let’s get this love story going already!

And on the other hand, there’s Noah and Seina drinking in an empty bar, getting tipsy again and they start full on making out and then like Seina is on top of Noah and it’s like woah! These are totally not the same people that we saw in TH part 3! Eventually they get tired of just kissing and take a taxi to a hotel. Hmmm.. And the next day, both of them actually remembered what happened and decide to start dating!

A new member arrives. Shunsuke Ikezoe, a 21 year old makeup student who’s not sure if he’s bisexual or not. He’s at TH to discover more about himself.

And that’s it, part 4 ends like that! I can’t wait to see what happens to the new guy, but I kind of feel like there’s no room for falling in love with the roommates, because everyone is taken except Yui. And I don’t think they will be attracted to each other, but who knows? We’ll find out in 2 days when part 5 goes live on Netflix.

I’ll be releasing more Terrace House videos in the future, so
if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my Youtube channel to get notified as soon as the next one comes out!


Japanese Tea Tasting in Montreal

You don’t have to travel to Japan to enjoy their beautiful culture. Earlier this month, I visited Salon de Thé Oasis in Montreal to experience their tea tasting workshop and it was amazing and authentic! 

As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, I’ve never experience the matchmaking of wine and foods, but the tea master explained to us that tea in Asia is paired similarly. Our group of about 15 people gathered around the shop to  listen to the history of the teas we sampled and the instructions we were given to properly infused the teas on our own. 

And this is super serious business guys, different teas need to be infused at specific temperatures and times, comparable to wines that need to be chilled or uncorked before drinking.

We tasted some wonderfully luxurious teas that I will probably never drink again because they were very expensive (we’re talking about $1 = 1 gram) or very rare (Japanese red tea) but I’m just happy to have tried them all.

The tasting ended with a frothy matcha latte and beautiful mochi. 
Tea master pro tip: do not use animal milk in your lattes as the fat removes all the beneficial properties of the matcha. Instead, try almond or soy milk.

So, if you enjoy a good cup of green tea, I definitely recommend booking a spot at one of Salon de Thé Oasis‘ many workshops in 2019. 

Sipping on some delicious tea,